Advent – do you know the meaning of the word? Some with a strong liturgical background will make an instant connection to the word - others of you may not. Advent is from the Latin word Adventus which signifies a coming. In our English language we would also use the phrase to prepare to describe the term Advent. I grew up in a church and a family which celebrated Advent. It is a ceremony in which a candle (usually in a wreath) is lit each week signifying different aspects of preparing for celebrating the true reason for the season – Christ – one candle a week for four weeks prior to Christmas day.
Is celebrating Advent essential doctrine? No. As a matter of knowledge, this ceremony of preparation is based in western culture – not eastern, particularly within churches with a strong liturgical litany. Can it aid in focusing your prayer and thoughts on the Lord? Yes. As a statement of faith, please know that the writers of this blog believe in salvation by grace through faith alone, and while there are spiritual disciplines that aid in living a life according His call, nothing stands in between grace by faith.
For those interested, I have listed what each candle stands for and accompanying scripture which you can utilize. You may ask why I am posting this now – well, the first Sunday of Advent is tomorrow! In my home, we have an advent wreath in the center of our table and we read scripture, sing a song, pray and light a candle. It is a family tradition steeped deeply in His word. You might be interested in adding this tradition to your family this season or as part of your daily devotion with Him.
Week 1 – Hope (candle color is purple)
Selected scriptures: Isaiah 11:1-10
Week 2 – Peace (candle color is purple)
Selected Scriptures: Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
Week 3 – Joy (candle color is rose)
Selected Scriptures: Isaiah 9:6-7
Week 4 – Love (candle color is purple)
Selected Scriptures: Malachi 3:1-5
Christmas Eve – The Christ Candle (candle color white)
Selected Scriptures: Isaiah 9:1-6
Dear Lord, thank you for your Word of Grace. For your gift of your Son. For loving us so deeply that you sent Him as a sacrifice for our sin. Lord, during this season when the world has taken you out of its name, may we purposefully put you back in. May we seek you and you alone. Prepare our hearts Lord, not just during this season, but in preparation of eternally praising you. Amen.